Safeguarding and protecting children in sport

Quick checklist for parents

Has the club or organisation achieved a sports body or local council accreditation (eg Clubmark) that is up to date? If so, then this can be viewed as evidence that the club/organisation has attained a certain level of safe practices as assessed by the awarding body.

Even if the club is accredited, you should check that the organisation has:

  • a named and contactable welfare officer responsible for the implementation of their safeguarding
  • policy and issues regarding the protection of children or young people
  • procedures for dealing with complaints or concerns regarding poor practice, abuse or neglect
  • written standards of good practice (ie a code of conduct/behaviour)
  • a parental consent/emergency details form that you must return to the club
  • safe recruitment procedures for those working with young people that include: a clear job
  • description, appropriate references, criminal records checks (eg DBS) for relevant posts and
  • technical qualifications
  • access to appropriate safeguarding (child protection) training for its staff/volunteers

Remember, a well-run club will welcome your questions about their activities and policies. They’ll  know they have a responsibility to have the right arrangements in place, and to give this kind of information to anyone who leaves a child in their care.

What ratio of supervising adults to children is there?

Find out what the recommended supervision ratios are for your child’s chosen activity. You can do this by referring to the organisation responsible for the sport or activity. It is important to identify that the organisation ensures that no staff/volunteer members are left alone and isolated when in charge of the young people.

Does the club ask for signed parent’s consent and emergency details?

As part of your child’s registration, are you asked to complete a consent form? This should ask for emergency contacts, key medical information (allergies, asthma, etc.) and whether there are any other issues the club needs to know about in order to help your child get the most out of their participation.

What about arrangements for away fixtures and other events?

The sports club or organisation should inform you about the event arrangements and planning, including transport to and from the venue. You should also be given information about the venue itself. If it’s a long way from home, you should be given a contact number for use in emergencies.

Recruitment of staff and volunteers

Have all staff and volunteers been selected through a proper recruitment process?

This should include interviews, references and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks – often known as police checks – for eligible staff/volunteers working with children.

What safeguarding training has been provided for staff and volunteers?

All staff and volunteers should have up-todate recognised safeguarding training. Sports organisations often require and are able to provide sport-specific training programmes for staff and volunteers.

Is the coach qualified?

Your child’s coach should have a recognised qualification to clarify they are qualified and have the technical competence in the sport/activity at the right level. Coaches need to be competent to deliver and oversee the sport or activity safely.

Health and safety

Make sure that the organisation has guidance on first aid (and ideally a qualified first aider), and that the following are available within the club:

  • first aid box
  • procedure for reporting and responding to injuries
  • or accidents that occur within club time
  • arrangements for providing participants with drinks
  • and dissemination of medications (parental consent
  • will be required for dissemination of medication)
  • that the premises satisfy fire and other relevant regulations

If your child needs help with using the toilet, changing, feeding or their medication, discuss and agree how these personal care needs will be addressed.

This charter forms part of the work for the National Assembly for Wales’ Saving Futures Cross Party Group.

For further advice, visit the NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) website,  or email

If you have any concerns or worries, you can call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000 or email for further advice.